Plastic Roads Construction
We need alternatives, of which some may not be convenient.
But neither is it convenient to live in a dead planet.
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Every day we travel to work, to school, to visit relatives, to meet friends, we use roads daily as they provide our door to door access to both commerce and entertainment.
Foods, drinks, and all consumer goods are delivered to us by road.
The role of roads in our life should not be underestimated – without the road network life as it is today could not exist.
Recent research regarding the transportation of inland goods and passengers has revealed that more than 72% of goods and 83% of passenger travels are by road, making it the most widely used means of transportation.
Roads support the prosperity, the productivity and the competitiveness of our commercial activities and communities.
So we need roads and roads need to be developed and maintained.
The key task of the road authorities nowadays is to provide a road network which allows unobstructed and safe transit in all kinds of weather.
And plastic roads can be with good reason considered an up-to-date unique solution to a great number of contemporary problems.
Do you know how the idea of plastic roads was inspired? It was initially an Indian method to fill cracks in the road covering with plastic waste and setting it on fire.
The idea of plastic road building was first introduced in the previous decade.
The scientists have been concerned with the problem of plastic waste for quite a long time and the recent studies of the matter performed by the scientists and engineers together have shown certain perspective in terms of plastic waste usage with road construction purposes.
Several countries have already applied the technology of plastic recycling in their road construction industry and pilot projects in various forms have been run in the Netherlands, the UK, the USA, Canada, England, and India.
Polymer-based roads can with good reason now be called a sustainable alternative to traditional bituminous roads.
“… We now have a vast pool of knowledge, experience and resources, and can take concrete steps in the development of PlasticRoad.”
Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma
The Inventors of PlasticRoad
We are ready to provide the ground-breaking solution to road building!
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Modern Roads Requirements.
At present, the requirements for highways and roads are progressively more severe.
Nowadays the roadways should
• be more sustainable,
• be economically competitive,
• have a longer working lifespan,
• achieve better noise reduction rates,
• require less time for construction and maintenance.
All of these aspects had been taken into consideration and the project of plastic roads has been developed.
General benefits of Polymer-based roads construction
“Plastic offers all kinds of advantages compared to the current road construction,”
Rolf Mars, director of VolkerWessels’ roads subdivision.
• Plastic waste reutilizing
• Better roads quality
• Cleaner environment
• Lesser cost
• Reduced ecological footprint
• Circular economy (damaged sections recycling)
Half a century ago plastics were considered the future. Today we face the problem of plastic waste, which is already threatening the oceans’ ecosystem, and the health of the whole planet. However, recycling plastic waste can change all that, and besides, it’s win-win: good for the Earth, and also good for roads.
Better road quality presupposes its better sustainability – the possibility to use it so that the covering is not worn-out or continually damaged. The innovative road surface is anticipated to serve 5-7 times as long as the ones of the present days.
Road covering made of plastic, tyres and polymer resin has higher wear resistance compared to that of the asphalt. Such roads do not absorb water and demonstrate better flexibility. It results in less rutting and consequently less necessity for their maintenance and repairs. Besides, the surface remains smooth and absorbs sound better.
It was found out that the usage of reprocessed materials not only maximizes the lifetime of a highway but will also allow limiting its emissions.
Asphalt production is one of the most energy consuming industries, it is produced at high temperature (between 160 – 180C) generating huge quantities of CO2 as a consequence.
Besides, highway building requires lots of energy resources at different levels: it is needed for asphalt and cement production, with the purpose of excavating materials and for maintenance as well. All these processes presuppose many harmful emissions into the environment additionally to those produced by vehicles trapped in jams.
Plastic roads are able to reduce the level of energy consumption and, consequently, the cost of the road because the polymer-resin mixture is produced at lower temperatures.
Due to the fact that less CO2 will be produced in the course of road surface production, less heat and fumes will be emitted into the atmosphere. It will result in the reduced ecological footprint and in overall energy saving during the process.
Now you know the MAIN benefits plastic roads can offer,
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After the careful investigation of the promising flagship projects launched in the other countries as well as expert opinions in polymer solutions and recycling processes, the following approach to the construction of plastic roads was worked out.
The primary materials needed for such road production are recycled PET bottles and old automobile tires.
• The tires should be released from metal elements of the frame and other metal parts, then ground and shredded in a special shredder together with plastic bottles.
• The polymer resin and other substances are then added to the mixture of the shredded material to improve its strength property, increase its wear resistance and its ability to withstand high temperatures.
• At the next stage, the materials melt all together, and the covering is laid on the surface of the road with the help of special equipment.
The advantage of using old car tyres is not only that it results in emptying urban dumps, but such roads are less slippery during the rain and get dry sooner after it has stopped. Besides the traffic noise is reduced on such roadbed.
The use of polymeric materials for road covering production will increase the service life of a road in 5-7 times, that is the surface made of PET and resin mortar should serve for about 25-30 years without repairs, while for asphalt this performance variable is 5-6 years.
Besides, a specific set of properties of polymer-based road materials extends the period of the year when roadbed laying is possible.
Ground surface preparation for paving the road of polymer materials
A road paving project is a highly sophisticated process, which requires careful preliminary planning with the subsequent systematic adjustments and correction at any step. We’ll skip through the phase of planning and design, however, it should be kept in mind that it’s a long and a careful process. Lots of factors should be taken into consideration at this stage: terrain and soil properties, climate, environmental and residential peculiarities, utility lines, drainage and sewing requirements, traffic volume, expansion possibilities in future and overall road maintenance costs.
When the first stage is over the earthwork and excavation actually begins. The space on which the road is going to be constructed is cleaned of all vegetation and roots, and then the road surface itself is shaped through mounting and grading.
First, the road gets its shape. During the mounting stage, bulldozers and excavation machinery are used combined to move and mount dirt and soil across the chosen area.
After the road is mounted it is graded – the surface layer gets smoothed and leveled with special grading equipment.
Geocell is then used for soil stabilization; it distributes downward load sideways, reducing in such a way the forces acting in the direction of underlying soils. Geocell provides stabilization over the soils of poor condition, reduces the depth of the constructed profile and protects the soil and roots from compaction. At the same time, it allows access for the vehicles of various classes from light to heavy, and to the industrial ones.
After the installation, the geocell is filled with soil, before the process of road paving itself, the infill material is compacted.
Road paving operation.
A special powered extruder is used for road paving process. The pre-mixed compound is loaded into the machine, the mixture is heated, melted and plasticized in the extruder. Then the melted compound is extruded through the forming die in the back part of the vehicle.
The vehicle moves along the prepared surface extruding the road covering onto the prepared soil.
After getting cool and hardening the roadway is ready for operation. The size of the forming die can be adjusted for road paving of any width.
For the road sections, which are impossible to pave with the extruder, the following method is used:
• the immovable vehicle extrudes the covering onto a special panel,
• the part of the surface which has been produced in such a way is cut by laser into the parts of the corresponding forms,
• the parts are set into the required places on the prepared soil and welded to the main road covering with the help of a laser.
When road covering is damaged, an extruder arrives at the road section, which requires rehabilitation and the damaged part of the covering is cut out. The vehicle extrudes the covering onto a special panel, it is then cut into the parts of the required form by laser, which are placed on the prepared soil and welded with the help of laser to the main road covering.
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Overall benefits of polymer-based roads
“The advantages of using waste plastics for road construction are many.
…It reduces the amount of bitumen being used.
Plastic increases the aggregate impact value and improves the quality of flexible pavements.
Wear and tear of the roads has decreased to a large extent,”
Professor of Chemistry at Thiagarajar College of Engineering
Our main objective is a road which is…
• 7x – LONGER -The estimated lifetime of the road made of plastic is 5 to 7 times longer than that of the traditional road covering.
• 6x – CHEAPER – Asphalt is 6 times more expensive than the materials for the plastic road.
• 5x- FASTER – The anticipated construction time is approximately 80%.reduced as compared to ordinary roads
• 100% – CIRCULAR – The damaged parts of the road surface can be taken up, shredded, recycled and used for road repairs again.
Besides, the roads made with polymer materials are characterized with:
1. Increased by 100% strength.
2. Better rainwater resistance without its stagnation.
3. The absence of portholes and stripping.
4. Increased binding and better bonding of the mix.
5. Little to no maintenance requirements.
6. Less time on maintenance.
7. No radiation effect.
8. Increased loads’ withstanding property.
Of course, to make a safe product of high-quality out of the plastic waste is a significant challenge nowadays, however, for the present moment, there are plenty of opportunities for the development of plastic roads production and construction. It’s vital to get the most of the perspective.
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